Only the fourth country in the world to do so, India sends first Mars satellite Mangalyaan into orbit.
India has successfully sent a Mars satellite into orbit today, on September 24, 2014. The Indian Mars mission named ‘Mangalyaan’ (Mars Journey) is the cheapest Mars mission in the world, which costed only Rs. 4.5 billion ($74 million). With this success, India is now only the fourth country to successfully launch a Mars mission. Incidentally, India is the first country in the world to successfully launch an orbiter into Mars’ orbit in its first attempt.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the team that has made this launch possible. Congratulating the ISRO team, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi said, “Today all of India should celebrate our scientists. Schools, colleges should applaud this. If our cricket team wins a tournament, the nation celebrates. Our scientists’ achievement is greater.”
Once Mangalyaan was close to Mars’ orbit, a 24-minute engine burn was initiated. This engine burn slowed the orbiter enough for it to be pulled in by Mars’ gravitational force.
The US space agency NASA congratulated their Indian counterpart, ISRO via a tweet which said, “We congratulate @ISRO for its Mars arrival! @MarsOrbiter joins the missions studying the Red Planet.”
India joins the club of elite nations to have successfully sent an orbiter into Mars’ orbit. The 3 other space agencies to do so are United States of America’s NASA, Russia’s Russian Federal Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
The ISRO team monitoring the mission in Bengaluru (Bangalore), erupted at 8:30 am IST when information of the success came in.